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Top 3 news sources for when severe weather hits

Progressive’s National Catastrophe Response Team shares its favorite ways to stay on top of things

In today’s information age, staying informed is as easy as ever. But, in the event of severe weather, how can you sort through the clutter to find the most relevant information to you? Let’s face it—during a major hail storm or tornado warning, you want access to the best resources as quickly as possible.

To get answers, I turned to Progressive’s National Catastrophe Response Team. These men and women are at every major storm, handling claims and helping people become “whole” again. They know a thing or two when it comes to bad weather. They’re also information hounds, so I figured they’d be perfect to ask the question, “Where do you go to stay informed?”

Interestingly, they turned the question right back on me. A few years ago, during Hurricane Isaac, we had severe windstorms in the Cleveland area. “Where did you look?” they asked.

That brings me to my first resource:

1. The local news—Sometimes the obvious answer is the correct one. As our weather team pointed out, the local news cares the most about what’s happening to you in your area. National resources can be helpful, but they won’t always be relevant. Find your preferred local news station, whether it’s via the Web or social media.

And, a couple more:

2. The Weather Channel—Again, another seemingly obvious one is weather.com and The Weather Channel. But did you know that in addition to its main Twitter handle, it also has a Breaking Weather channel. It’s a good place to get up-to-the-minute information on pending storms.

3. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration—This one was new to me. A member of our weather team said what sounded like, “And of course, there’s ‘Noah’” to which my initial thought was, “My name is Steve, sir.” I quickly realized he was referring to a resource, NOAA.gov. This is the federal government’s climatology branch. It covers everything from earthquakes to raised carbon dioxide levels, and has an active Twitter handle with great information.

My key learning from the discussion with our team is that you cannot beat the local news for information specific to you. In all likelihood, that means you have at least three to four unique resources that boast websites and multiple social media channels.

If you’re on Twitter, I recommend creating a custom list with your key resources, local and national. That empowers you to check it as needed, and ignore it when you don’t.

Don’t have Twitter? Consider setting up an account. One member of our team doesn’t have a Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest account, but he has a Twitter account just for keeping on top of storm information. Twitter is the most up-to-date social media site, and you don’t even have to tweet. Just follow, and use it when you need it.